Graeme Pollock: Hashim Amla made a right call
Proteas's batting great Graeme Pollock says Hashim Amla, who was struggling with form, took the correct decision by announcing retirement; feels SA will struggle with big names quitting
Batting legend Graeme Pollock reckons South African cricket appears "pretty mediocre" in the wake of the retirements of illustrious batsman Hashim Amla, pace ace Dale Steyn and AB de Villiers before them.
"SA have lost a lot of quality players over the years and I think they are going to struggle for the next few years to fill the gaps caused by the exits of those players," Pollock, 75, told mid-day from Johannesburg yesterday.
However, he felt Amla made the right decision to quit on Thursday. "Look, he was not getting the amount of runs he would've liked to have got towards the end of his career. I'm glad he played the World Cup and I would have loved to see AB playing there as well," Pollock remarked. Amla could manage only 203 runs in seven World Cup 2019 games.
"It's a hard decision to make but it gets very hard [with age] especially the first 20 minutes at the crease. I can understand his decision," said Pollock, who played first-class cricket till the age of 43.
The man with one of the best Test averages in the game — 60.97 from 23 Tests in which he scored 2256 runs — paid Amla a handsome tribute: "He had a wonderful career. He was one of the best and did a helluva lot of good for South African cricket. He made runs in all forms of the game, remember. He's made a big contribution and his exit is a tremendous loss." He also hailed Amla for working on his game to become one of the leading run-scorers for South Africa (9282 runs in 124 Tests and 8113 runs in 181 ODIs). "When I saw him for the first time, he was very much a leg-side player. They said he was a bit 'flicky'. He was a dominant leg-side player, used to play across the line a lot which resulted in leg before wicket dismissals. Someone had a word with him and he then started playing straighter. That made a huge difference," said Pollock.
Sign up for all the latest news, top galleries and trending videos from Mid-day.comSubscribe